Kent Austin
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Biographical details
Born (1963-06-25) June 25, 1963 (age 55)
Natick, Massachusetts
Playing career
Ole Miss
St. Louis Cardinals
Saskatchewan Roughriders
BC Lions
Toronto Argonauts
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Ottawa Renegades (QB)
Toronto Argonauts(OC)
Saskatchewan Roughriders
University of Mississippi(OC)
Cornell University
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Head coaching record
Overall 0–0

Richard Kent Austin (born June 25, 1963 in Natick, Massachusetts) is the current head coach and general manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team. He was previously the head coach at Cornell University and offensive coordinator at Ole Miss. He was also the former head coach of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders after serving as offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts and quarterbacks coach for the Ottawa Renegades.

College careerEdit

Austin is a former starting quarterback himself. Following high school at Brentwood Academy, he went to the University of Mississippi and played quarterback in the early 1980s. He ranks third in passing yards in the Ole Miss records, behind Eli Manning and Romaro Miller. Austin was an Academic All-American in each of his four college seasons and is a member of the University of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional careerEdit

After college, Austin was selected in the 12th round (312th overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played two seasons in the NFL as the team's third-string quarterback, attempting a single pass.

In 1988, the Cardinals chose not to resign Austin, and he instead jumped to the CFL and joined the Roughriders, initially as their back-up quarterback. On November 26, 1989 in Toronto, Austin was at the helm of the Roughriders when they won the 1989 Grey Cup versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, winning the MVP trophy for his 474 yards passing in the game. One of the Top 10 quarterbacks in CFL history, with 36,030 career passing yards on 4,700 pass attempts, having completed 2709 passes (57.6%), Austin is a Roughriders legend for leading the team to its second league championship (Grey Cup). He also threw 198 touchdown passes and 191 interceptions in his 10 CFL seasons with 4 teams.

Austin started at quarterback for the Roughriders, British Columbia Lions, and Toronto Argonauts (the second Ole Miss star to play quarterback for Toronto, the first being Eagle Day in 1967), as well as serving as a backup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He is one of only four CFL quarterbacks to pass for more than 6,000 yards in a single season (6,225 in 1992 with Saskatchewan). Austin won his second Grey Cup in 1994 with the British Columbia Lions, starting the 82nd Grey Cup but being replaced at halftime by Danny McManus due to an injury. McManus would lead the Lions to a win on a last-second field goal.

In the Columbo episode A Bird in the Hand... (air date November 22, 1992), footage from a Saskatchewan Roughriders versus Edmonton Eskimos game was used to portray a fictional game played by a football team called "The Stallions". As the footage showed Kent Austin playing and wearing the No. 5 jersey, the actor playing the quarterback wore a jersey bearing that number throughout the television episode. When a scene required seeing the quarterback in play, they used footage of Kent Austin.

Coaching careerEdit

In 2003, Austin entered coaching as the quarterbacks coach of the Ottawa Renegades. The following year he was hired as Toronto offensive coordinator, helping lead the team to an offensive surge that allowed the franchise to win the 2004 CFL championship. He was fired in the 2006 season, largely in part to failing to properly utilize RB Ricky Williams. He was later hired as Roughriders head coach for the 2007 season.

On November 25, 2007, Kent Austin coached the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the 95th Grey Cup Championship beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–19. In doing so, Austin became the first head coach to win a professional football championship for the same team with which he won the championship as a quarterback.[1] Interestingly, he did it in his first year as head coach, and at exactly the same stadium where he won the cup as a player, 18 years earlier. His performance as head coach won him the 2007 CFL season Annis Stukus Trophy as coach of the year.[2]

On January 16, 2008, Austin accepted the job as Offensive coordinator at the University of Mississippi, his alma mater, to serve under head coach Houston Nutt. In 2008 Kent’s offense ranked 28th nationally scoring 32 points a game up from 20 points a game in 2007.[3]

On January 26, 2010 Austin accepted the head coaching job at Cornell University replacing Jim Knowles who left Cornell to become the defensive coordinator for David Cutcliffe at Duke University.[4]

On December 17, 2012 Austin signed as the head coach and GM of The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of The Canadian Football League.

Head coaching recordEdit


Team Year Regular season Post season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Result
SSK2007 1260.6672nd in West Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
HAM2013 000.000East Division 0 0 TBD


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Cornell Big Red (Ivy League) (2010–2012)
2010 Cornell 2–8 1–6 7th
2011 Cornell 5–5 3–4 6th
2012 Cornell 4–6 2–5 T–6th
Cornell: 11–19 6–15
Total: 11–19


Kent Austin's wife is named Shelley; his oldest daughter Kendall, their middle daughter Kassidy, and their youngest son Wesley.

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